Genre film lovers unite for Toronto’s showcase of horror, sci-fi, action and cult movies
By Nazifa Islam, Staff Writer
Were you always the friend that wanted to watch a horror movie during sleepovers? Or the brave soul that watched the midnight premiere of a sci-fi movie when every one of your friends refused to accompany you? Horror movies as they are churned out by big production houses have begun to border on predictability and there is even less to be said of sci-fi and action-movie franchises. The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2012 thus comes as a breath of fresh air for genre film lovers.
This year, the festival is set to top last year’s success by holding 9 nights of film screenings instead of 8.
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival is showcase of horror, sci fi, action and cult movies, currently in its seventh year. According to Fangoria, the festival is quickly becoming “an official Big Deal and spoken of with the same kind of reverence as Fantasia [International Film Festival]” held in France. Last year, the TADFF attracted over 10,000 enthusiastic fans at the Toronto Underground Cinema and received over 350 published reviews. Festival Director Adam Lopez described it as “our biggest and most successful event by far”. At the festival, film-makers not only gained an audience but many films even made their way into distribution talks as a result of their success at TADFF 2011.
This year, the festival is set to top last year’s success by holding 9 nights of film screenings instead of 8. What’s more, apart from film screenings, this year’s TADFF is set to launch Toronto After Darkcade – a showcase of independently made horror, sci-fi, action and cult video games! It’s not a surprise that Fangoria compares it to Fantasia! This year’s line-up begins showing on October 18th and runs until the 26th the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Some of the first ten titles to be screened are REC 3 Genesis from Spain, Excision from USA, Dead Sushi from Japan and many others. Full listings can be found here.
More than just a showcase of films, the TADFF is a place for film enthusiasts to mingle with one another and come together to support worthy causes. For example, the TADFF donates $1 from every ticket sale to the Toronto Zombie Walk, an event that aims to “raise funds and awareness about rescues, responsible pet ownership”. Every festival night includes a Social Event or an after dark Pub event beginning at 11.30 pm. As festival director and founder Adam Lopez explains, the festival “operates in the spirit of a not-for-profit organization”, i.e. the festival is owned and operated by fans for fans. The revenue generated from ticket sales goes towards paying for the festival operations. Any additional profits are “recycled to pay for the next year’s festival”. Moreover, all members of the TADFF staff work on a part time or volunteer basis.
Perhaps the real value of the TADFF lies not in the revenue but the avenue that it provides for cult movie lovers. Throughout the year, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival also promotes the city’s vibrant horror, cult and alternative film scene to approximately 20,000 followers via email, Facebook and Twitter. While the deadline for film submissions has passed, the festival is still accepting video game submissions.
Toronto has long been a hub of diversity, entertainment, and excitement and for 9 nights in October, be sure to watch as the city becomes a haunt for after-dark film enthusiasts
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